J Street is soliciting U.S. rabbis and rabbinical students to sign a “Rabbinic letter” expressing the hope that “the rhetoric and actions that feed fear and violence, emanating from both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, will soon give way to bold leadership.” The letter’s only specific suggestion is that Israel end its “counter-productive blockade of Gaza’s citizens.”
A large number of rabbis have already signed the letter and J Street plans to publish it in the Forward next week with a list of signers. The estimable rabbinical student Anne Strauss forwarded J Street’s solicitation to me (she doesn't plan on signing).
My belief is that the problem in Gaza is not the Israeli blockade, but the fact that Gaza is currently ruled by a gang officially designated by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization, which is an Iranian proxy that took over Gaza in a bloody coup, is dedicated to the destruction of Israel, is in a state of war with Israel, and is smuggling weapons in order to attack it.
Under those circumstances, I believe Israel has not only the right under international law but an obligation to its own citizens to impose a blockade to insure that nothing other than humanitarian goods are imported into Gaza -- unless and until Hamas ends its state of war.
I realize that others may disagree, and I recognize that they may be right, but I was previously unaware that there are Biblical and Talmudic sources (uncited in the "Rabbinic letter") that contradict my views. Perhaps the signatory rabbis are relying on the Torah of Liberalism rather than that other one.